Trigger Warning: Discussion of rape, sexual violence
People often asks why rape goes unreported.
I am more surprise that any are reported at all when we see high profile cases where even a wealthy white successful woman cannot get justice. Her case being dismissed because she should have seen it coming. As a poorer, Métis woman, how seriously my case would have been taken?
What do you do when the person who sexually assaulted you was a policeman or a judge? What do you do when the rapist is popular, wealthy, well connected or/and powerful? It’s easy to feel like you don’t have resources.
How many times have we seen news reports stories of women who did report their rape to the police, but were dismissed or ignored? There are hundreds of thousands of untested rape kits that sit in evidence rooms collecting dust in police departments across both the United States and Canada. It’s a horrifying thought that all these kits are just sitting there and so many survivors could be seeing justice done for the horrors they went through but aren’t. How is a woman supposed to believe that the crime she reported will be prosecuted and not ignored? How are women supposed to believe that they “matter” under the eye of the law?
How many times have we seen in news reports stories of women who did report their rape to the police only to be blamed or shamed during the interview process? How many were told they were making it up to get attention? How many were asked if they were wearing anything that would have made the accused want to touch them? That kind of attitudes coming from police officers and investigators are incredibly dangerous.
How many times have we seen in new report stories of suspects being let go with a warning or a ridiculous sentence or declared not guilty for some stupid reason? For example, a judge ruled a rapist not guilty because “he didn’t enjoy it“. Why would any women come forward after seeing that it’s that easy to get away with crime and that the physical and mental damaged done to the victim isn’t taken into consideration at all?
It’s horribly sad that so many creeps get away with this garbage and that the women feel powerless even after to do anything about it; and often are. Sexual assault derails a human life.
I didn’t report my assault many years ago because I was able to fight back and get away before the worst happen. I didn’t think police would care since there was no penetration.
“I thought my head was going to explode because I could not believe that this was how these crimes were being handled and that lives were being discarded.” – Mariska Hargitay